Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jun 2016
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Union
Author: Gloria Glenn
Note: Gloria Glenn lives in Nevada City.


This is in response to the June 9 opinion piece in The Union by 
Jonathan Collier, spokesman for the California (Marijuana) Grower 
Association. Mr. Collier first comments on the sheriff's "inability 
to eradicate growing related challenges."

He later says that marijuana has been here for decades and you just 
can't get rid of it. He acknowledges "a rising criminal element" and 
says that the county has had a "laissez-faire attitude toward land 
use." I take that to mean that the county has not tried to eradicate 
illegal marijuana growing, which isn't true.

Mr. Collier's point is that it is now time to just accept that Big 
Marijuana is here to stay. If we do, the growers can help us write a 
new ordinance (more liberal, by definition) and help our community to 
solve the many marijuana-related problems that he admits are real. 
These include by his own admission: "youth access, smell, 
environmental degradation, and illegal activity." By the way, the 
pot-growing environmental degradation that is happening now is 
serious according to county and NID officials, and includes heavy 
water use; water theft; illegal grading and removal of forest trees; 
uncontrolled runoff; use of illegal pesticides; and silt, debris and 
pesticide runoff into our streams and rivers.

Mr. Collier proposes that all elements of our community, from elected 
officials, police and sheriff, schools, "hospitals", treatment 
providers, non-profits, and every other "interested party" come 
together to figure out how to solve the problems resulting from 
expanded marijuana growing.

He doesn't mention how much these costs would be, or who would pay 
them. He simply presumes that through all of this we would wind up 
with good growers who would obey the ordinance. Presumably, the bad 
guys will go away.

What a fallacy.

If we have lots more pot growing, we will have lots more problems.

Just recently, as reported in The Union, narcotics officers raided 
several illegal pot growing operations, including a Mexican cartel 
site. They destroyed some 2,000 illegal plants and found processed 
marijuana, cocaine, honey oil, ecstasy, meth, hydrocodone, and a 
45-caliber hand gun. One site was siphoning water from an NID canal.

If the police and Sheriff can't handle the illegal activity we have 
now, how will they handle a perhaps five or ten-fold increase? Do our 
schools, the Hospital, our churches and non-profits have the ability 
and funds to handle the problems that inevitably will arise from 
widely grown and available marijuana?

Do we want those problems in the first place, on top of the drug, 
alcohol, psychiatric and homeless issues that we deal with now?

I have no issue with the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and 
I'm not a prude about recreational use. I voted for Measure W however 
because I think marijuana use and sale should be limited, regulated 
and entirely indoors.

I don't want my tax money to be directed toward control of 
large-scale outdoor growing, or the drug, crime and addiction 
problems that result.

Finally, it certainly doesn't benefit the residents of Nevada County, 
or their property values, to be known as a major marijuana growing 
area, which is what the growers are looking for. Unlike Napa/Sonoma 
Wine Country or the Kentucky horse farm region, Marijuana Country in 
Nevada County has a distinct lack of appeal.

We should not believe the smooth blandishments of Mr. Collier and the 
California Grower Association, whose members, I suspect, are mostly not local.

They only want a new ordinance that gives them more freedom, and we 
will be saddled with the problems.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom